Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Latvian Citizen Extradited from Norway Made Appearance in Federal Court for Role in Money Laundering Conspiracy
United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced today that a Latvian woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for her role in a money laundering conspiracy. She was recently extradited from Norway to face the federal charge and forfeiture allegations in South Dakota.
Lubova Burkute, age 40, was indicted on June 17, 2021. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on March 21, 2022, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution and forfeiture may also be ordered.
According to the indictment, in approximately 2015 and continuing until 2021, Burkute conspired and agreed with others to knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct financial transactions affecting interstate and foreign commerce. Specifically, Burkute and her co-conspirators engaged in depositing, transferring, wiring, and withdrawing U.S. Currency, foreign currency, and funds at financial institutions, which involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity – wire fraud. Burkute and her co-conspirators knew that the transactions were designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of the fraud scheme. While conducting and attempting to conduct such financial transactions, it is alleged that Burkute knew that the property involved in the financial transactions represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity. Burkute resided in and operated from Norway, among other places, she is a citizen of Latvia.
The charge is merely an accusation and Burkute is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the following agencies:
– Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation;
– Federal Bureau of Investigation;
– ØKOKRIM, the Norwegian National Authority for Prosecution and Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime, Oslo, Norway;
– Oslo, Norway, Police Department;
– Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs; and
– South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy R. Jehangiri and Ann M. Hoffman are prosecuting the case.
Burkute was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending further proceedings and trial. A trial date of May 31, 2022, has been set.